Vaccine inequities fuelling two-track pandemic, warns WHO; urges country to inoculate 10% of population by September
- WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said unequal access to vaccines is fuelling a two-track pandemic
World Health Organization (WHO) chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged nations to vaccinate at least 10% of the population by September, asserting that failure to vaccinate in some countries will impact all countries globally. He warned that "until we end the pandemic everywhere, we will not end it anywhere."
Ghebreyesus added that by the end of 2021 nations should vaccinate at least 40% of their population, ramping it up to cover at least 70% by the middle of next year, reported news agency PTI.
Ghebreyesus said unequal access to vaccines is fuelling a two-track pandemic, where certain countries have achieved high levels of vaccine coverage and others do not have access to enough vaccines, and are failing to inoculate their first responders.
"Vast inequities in the access to vaccines are fuelling a two-track pandemic. While some countries have reached a high level of coverage, many others don’t have enough to vaccinate health workers, older people & other at-risk groups," WHO director general said at the virtual India Global Forum.
“Vaccine equity is not just the right thing to do. It’s the best way to control the pandemic and reboot the global economy," the WHO chief cautioned
The WHO chief once again called on G20 countries to share more vaccines to ensure developing countries have access to at least 1 billion doses by the end of 2021.
“We are calling on #G20 countries to share more COVID-19 vaccine doses now, including by ensuring at least 1 billion doses are shared with developing countries in 2021, starting immediately,” Ghebreyesus tweeted
We have formed a Task Force to help track, coordinate and advance delivery of COVID19 health tools to developing countries and to mobilize relevant stakeholders and national leaders to remove critical roadblocks.
We are deeply concerned about the limited COVID19 vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and support for deliveries available to developing countries.